The requirements of Occupational Safety and Health Standard 1910.157 apply to the placement, use, maintenance, and testing of portable fire extinguishers provided for the use of employees. Where extinguishers are provided but are not intended for employee use and the employer has both an emergency action plan and a fire prevention plan that meet the requirements of 29 CFR 1910.38 and 29 CFR 1910.39 respectively, then only the requirements of paragraphs 1910.157(e) and 1910.157(f) apply.
This 7 part series of articles will provide a summary of each section of Occupational Safety and Health Standard 1910.157 to allow the reader with a good understanding of the requirements as they apply to portable fire extinguishers in the workplace. Occupational Safety and Health Standard 1910.157 consists of 6 major section:
- 1910.157(b) – Exemptions
- 1910.157(c) – General Requirements
- 1910.157(d) – Selection and Distribution
- 1910.157(e) – Inspection, Maintenance and Testing
- 1910.157(f) – Hydrostatic Testing
- 1910.157(g) – Training and Education
Part 1 in this series addressed Exemptions to the requirements of Occupational Safety and Health Standard 1910.157. Part 2 in this series addressed General Requirements of Occupational Safety and Health Standard 1910.157. Part 3 in this series addressed Selection and Distribution requirements of Occupational Safety and Health Standard 1910.157. Part 4 in the series will address Inspection, Maintenance and Testing requirements of Occupational Safety and Health Standard 1910.157.
1910.157(e) – Inspection, Maintenance and Testing requirements of Occupational Safety and Health Standard 1910.157
Employers shall be responsible for the inspection, maintenance and testing of all portable fire extinguishers in the workplace. Portable extinguishers or hose used in lieu of under paragraph 1910,157(d) shall be visually inspected monthly. Employers shall assure that portable fire extinguishers are subjected to an annual maintenance check. Stored pressure extinguishers do not require an internal examination. The employer shall record the annual maintenance date and retain this record for one year after the last entry or the life of the shell, whichever is less. The record shall be available to the upon request. Employers shall assure that stored pressure dry chemical extinguishers that require a 12-year hydrostatic test are emptied and subjected to applicable maintenance procedures every 6 years. Dry chemical extinguishers having non-refillable disposable containers are exempt from this requirement. When recharging or hydrostatic testing is performed, the 6-year requirement begins from that date. Employers shall assure that alternate equivalent protection is provided when portable fire extinguishers are removed from service for maintenance and recharging.
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